Christianity and Yoga:  A Series of Studies – Yamas Part II

As I mentioned last time (a bad bit of lightning prevented my posting Saturday night and it just did not happen yesterday), Brahmacharya and Aparigraha are two traits that are sorely lacking in many within all aspects of society.  Sure, there is plenty of violence, lying and stealing but they are not being touted as acceptable or right.  Brahmacharya, abstinence from for the unmarried and moderation/self-control for the married in sexaul matters, is glibbly distained or at least ignored by society at large.  How many sexual partners did the friends have on Friends or what about the various sexual relationships on Seinfeld?  Do I even need to mention Sex in the City?  It is just as easy to illustrate the societal pushes toward greed, the antithesis of Aparigraha.  How many ads do you see, hear or read every day of the year encouraging you to buy something on credit or to take out an equity loan on your home?  The only way to stop either flood is to completely cut oneself off from rest of the world!  Modern society is one based on wanting what one wants and getting it regardless of the cost, a concept which is clearly at odds with Christianity and Yoga.

Brahmacharya – Sexual Continence

Yoga Sutra 2.38 When one is confirmed in continence, spiritual vigor is gained.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Exodus 20:14

32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

Proverbs 6:32

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matthew 5:28

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Romans 1:27

18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1 Corinthians 6:18

An honest reading of the Bible makes it quite clear that any sexual activity outside of marriage is unacceptable.

Aparigraha – Non-greed

2.39 When one is confirmed in non-possessiveness, the knowledge of the why and how of existence is attained.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Exodus 20:17

21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Deuteronomy 5:21

33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.

Acts 20:33

9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Romans 13:9

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Matthew 6:31-34

A true disciple of Christ is not only devoid of greed but, as Paul put it, should minister to ones own necessities and to the necessities of others.

In summary, no one can seriously say that practicing the Yamas is a bad thing and, indeed, no one has said that.  In fact, it would be impossible to determine who was Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan, Atheist or any other religious persuasion if only the five tenets of the Yamas were examined.